Excel add-ins and online tools for charting

I wanted to share some excellent tools that I’ve recently learned about. One is a free statistical analysis add-in program for Excel. Greg McFadden from Internal Medicine shared his knowledge with us in a mini-session a couple of weeks ago. To use this add-in:

  1. Select Excel Options (available from the Office button in Excel 2007 or File menu in Excel 2010).
  2. Click Add-ins and select Go (toward bottom of add-ins window)
  3. Place a check on the Analysis ToolPak and click OK. You may get a prompt asking to install it, and you may need the installation disk (although I didn’t with Excel 2010).
  4. After it has been installed, the analysis features are available on the far right of the Data tab. Some of the analysis tools available are: anova, correlation, covariance, descriptive stats (wonderful), F-test, histogram, fourier analysis, regression and more.

This site recently came to my attention from Teri Hartman, from McGoogan Library. Here you will find described a number of on-line programs that can be used to create charts and graphs of all types, including drawing tools, mind mapping, flow charts, organizational charts, iPhone chart application and more! I haven’t tried any of them yet, but I can’t wait to try out the mind mapping tools!

Thanks Greg and Teri for sharing your great finds!

Question of the week of 9/12/10 – PowerPoint diagrams

Question: I need to create a complex organizational chart and some other business diagrams. What application should I use?

Answer: I would start out with PowerPoint. PowerPoint 2007 has some very good tools that make it very easy to create organizational charts as well as other professional-looking diagrams. These are found under the Insert tab and click SmartArt. You can see various types of charts – lists, process,cycle,  hierarchical, relationship, matrix,and  pyramid. When you click on the various samples a preview of the diagram appears with a description of how it is used.

There are also some WONDERFUL examples of more complex charts by going to the new templates. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Office button > New and under the Microsoft Online templates, click Diagrams. Download the Flow Chart presentation or the Process Diagrams to see some interesting and exciting diagrams. If you are using PowerPoint 2010, those are found under File > New. In addition to those, 2010 has an Other Diagrams category with some more interesting slide examples. Using these can certainly save you a tremendous amount of time and may help you become more creative in how you show business processes and organizational structures. Remember, you can add animation to really make your slide emphasize specific topics (just don’t overdo it). ITS provides classes on PowerPoint, which you can register for here using your University personnel number or call 559-7284.

You can also use Microsoft Visio. Visio is designed specifically for building flow charts and other diagrams and is a bit more difficult to use than PowerPoint, and it is not included in the Microsoft Office Pro Suite, but may provide additional tools. ITS is offering a class on Visio Basics on October 21 from 2-4 p.m. You may register online here using your University personnel number or call 559-7284.